Hiawatha Public Library secures $2 million fundraising goal

Hiawatha Public Library officials on Monday, June 26, 2017, announced plans for a $4.1 million, 13,500-square-foot addit
Hiawatha Public Library officials on Monday, June 26, 2017, announced plans for a $4.1 million, 13,500-square-foot addition to the existing library at 150 W. Willman St. (Hiawatha Public Library rendering)

HIAWATHA — With a state grant, the Hiawatha Public Library has reached the $2 million fundraising goal for the library’s expansion project.

With a nearly $469,000 award from the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Enhance Iowa Board Thursday, Library Director Jeaneal Weeks said all necessary funds have been raised and the project could begin as soon as this fall.

“Today’s news means it’s a go ... today is just a wondrous day,” Weeks said.

Weeks said, with funding secured, the project is ready to go out for bid. A groundbreaking could take place yet this year, she added.

All told, the $4.1 million, 13,500-square-foot library expansion and renovation will more than double the 8,500-square-foot library, built in 1998.

Plans call for the addition of an information center with 15 computer workstations and two study rooms. The expansion also will create spaces for youth, tweens and young adults. A program space will be added to accommodate crowds at programs and community gatherings.

To minimize the impact on business hours, Weeks said the project will take place in two phases.

Support for the library, at 150 W. Willman St., has come from many sources, including $400,00 from The Hall-Perrine Foundation, AEGON Transamerica Foundation donated $300,000 and Crystal Group gave $100,000.


The Linn County Supervisors, Carver Charitable Trust and Farmers State Bank also have made donations of $50,000 or more.

Other funds include a $1.2 million bond approved by voters last fall and $1 million in local-option sales tax from the city of Hiawatha.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support from a lot of different foundations and organizations, businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, everything,” Weeks said.

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